DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand government plans to develop a wooden bridge, once part of the Indo-Tibetan trade route, into a world-class skywalk track at the Nelong valley along the Indo-China border for promoting tourism in the remote part of Uttarkashi district.
The second skywalk track will come up at Harki Pauri in Haridwar, reports Hindustan Times.
The tourism department has identified a 160-metre long wooden bridge, popularly known as Gartang Galion, perched on a huge rock in Nelong Valley for the skywalk track project. According to tourism minister Satpal Maharaj, the Gartang Gali wooden bridge was left dysfunctional after the 1962 Indo-China war.
“This wooden bridge at Gartang Gali will be converted in a major tourist attraction as it’s an ideal site for the skywalk track project. It is more attractive than Grand Canyon in America…. It has been identified and I have asked the district administration to find out ways to start the work soon. Once commissioned, this track is bound to turn into a major tourism attraction for it also carries along the tag of heritage,” Satpal told Hindustan Times.
Located at an altitude of around 11,000 feet above the sea level and around 315 km from Dehradun, the Nelong valley falls under the Gangotri National Park in Uttarkashi district. Foreigners are still not allowed to enter the region because of its proximity to the Indo-China border.
He added that increased flow of Indian tourists in Nelong Valley will also be strategically important as it’s an inner line area of Indo-China border. “As per our visualisation ,this will be a first-of-its kind tourist site in India where the track is cut through a rock . This track was originally carved out by locals and Tibetan travellers who frequented the two countries for trade till 1960,” Satpal said.
The tourism department plans to construct a similar skywalk track at Harki Pauri replete with religious colours, he added.
“On the minister’s direction, we are preparing a proposal to get forest clearance for getting hold of the track since it comes under Gangotri National Park. Once legal formalities are over, the road map for revival of the heritage route will be taken. However, the structure’s character will not be compromised,” Uttarakhashi district magistrate Ashish Shrivastava said.